The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Loonie lower, greenback strengthens: Fed minutes show growing debate about rates

  • Print

TORONTO - The Canadian dollar closed lower Wednesday as the release of the minutes of the latest meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve showed a sharpening debate within the central bank about when to hike rates.

The loonie was down 0.23 of a cent at 91.15 cents US as the Fed also continued to indicate that the central bank is in no rush to raise rates from close to zero, where they have been since the financial crisis.

The minutes showed that some officials thought the Fed would need to call for "a relatively prompt move" to reduce the stimulus it has supplied since the financial crisis erupted in 2008. Otherwise, these officials felt the Fed risked overshooting its targets for unemployment and inflation.

Those who think the Fed should withdraw its support only slowly cited persistent drags on the job market despite solid hiring and a steady drop in the unemployment rate.

The Fed has emphasized that economic data, not the calendar, will determine when it hikes rates, generally expected around the middle of 2015.

Slack in the labour market has been a particular concern, a topic that Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen is expected to address in her speech to the central bank's economic symposium at the end of the week.

While U.S. job growth has been coming in at around 200,000 monthly, the participation rate has drifted down to a percentage in the lows 60s.

The loonie had traded higher in the morning after Statistics Canada reported that wholesale sales rose 0.6 per cent to $53 billion in June, a third consecutive increase.

The agency said that sales in the vehicle sector declined 2.4 per cent to $9.1 billion. But this was offset by gains in five subsectors, led by a 3.1 per cent rise in the miscellaneous subsector, which includes agricultural supplies, wholesalers of logs and wood chips, minerals, ores and precious metals, and second-hand goods

Prices were mixed on commodity markets with the September crude contract — which expires Wednesday — was up $1.59 to US$96.07 a barrel. The October contract climbed 59 cents to US$93.45. Prices rose as data showed a drop in U.S. supplies of about 4.5 million barrels last week, about three times the amount that had been expected.

September copper shot up nine cents to US$3.18 a pound. Some analysts attributed the jump to strong signs of a rebound in the U.S. housing sector, including strong data on housing starts and a jump in a prominent builders confidence survey.

December gold bullion dipped $1.50 to US$1,295.20 an ounce.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Jet goalie Michael Hutchinson

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Korea Veterans Association stained glass window at Deer Lodge Centre. Dedication with Minister of Veterans Affairs Dr. Rey Pagtakhan. March 12, 2003.
  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 101130-Winnipeg Free Press Columns of light reach skyward to the stars above Sanford Mb Tuesday night. The effect is produced by streetlights refracting through ice crystals suspended in the air on humid winter nights. Stand Up.....

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think food-security issues are an important topic to address during this mayoral campaign?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google